\"\"
Piano Forum logo

What is the fastest way to get sight reading up to speed? (Read 266 times)

Offline ranjit

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 336
What is the fastest way to get sight reading up to speed?
« on: July 22, 2020, 09:39:57 PM »
A brief background: I'm self-taught and have been playing for around five years. I've taught myself a decent amount of technique and music theory, and should be able to play most pieces at a grade 8 standard or so. I also have some theory knowledge (I believe it is the equivalent of first semester music theory), so I can attempt a Roman numeral analysis of a piece, and know many of the basics of chord progressions, functional harmony, counterpoint, etc. I haven't learned too much repertoire, because I was mostly "messing around" on the piano all this while, playing stuff by ear and improvising. My current reading skill is basically nonexistent.

Now that I've got myself a digital piano, I want to get my sight reading up to speed, hopefully in 6 months to a year. What would be the best way to go about this? Is there some way to use your experience in other aspects of piano playing to improve sight reading?

Offline rachmaninoff_forever

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 4894
Re: What is the fastest way to get sight reading up to speed?
«Reply #1 on: July 23, 2020, 04:21:35 AM »
Idk how good you are but sightread all 555 Scarlatti sonatas by the end of the year.  If you do 4 a day you can take the weekends off and still finish lol
Live large, die large.  Leave a giant coffin.

Offline ranjit

  • PS Silver Member
  • Sr. Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 336
Re: What is the fastest way to get sight reading up to speed?
«Reply #2 on: July 23, 2020, 01:22:13 PM »
That sounds like a good idea. I might not be able to sight read them fluently just yet, but should hopefully be there in a couple weeks...

Wouldn't it be too narrow stylistically speaking, or does that not matter so much?

Offline piano_sight_reading

  • PS Silver Member
  • Newbie
  • ***
  • Posts: 8
Re: What is the fastest way to get sight reading up to speed?
«Reply #3 on: July 23, 2020, 10:43:53 PM »
The best way would be to practise sight-reading daily as part of your piano practice. Make sure you still practice your other stuff though - technique, studies, pieces. Pick pieces that are just outside your comfort zone, so not too easy nor too hard and try to sight-read several pieces per session. You could try getting a collection of sonatinas or a collection of pieces in varied styles (such as the Essential Keyboard Repertoire series). Either way, I recommend that you pick pieces in different styles (romantic, baroque, modern, classical) so that you get exposed to all kinds of musical patterns.

And use your theory knowledge to quickly process the music into chunks when you sight-read (as opposed to reading one note at a time). The better your theory knowledge, the quicker you can do this, and the quicker you'll get at sight-reading.

Feel free to have a look at my website on sight-reading for advice, tips and resources at https://www.pianosightreading.com.au:)